Day 20 - 7/21/07: Deadhorse, AK to Coldfoot, AK
I set my alarm for 7:00 this morning. I got up, dressed, and headed for breakfast, which ended by 8:00. I had 2 pieces of French toast and a couple of milks as I did not want a repeat of yesterday with the upset stomach.
Then back to my room for a shower. I walked around the outside of the building to gauge how cold it was. The answer? Cold. The thermometer on the bike was showing 37 degrees. I went to my room, showered, and got dressed. Today I wore my thermal shirt and a long sleeve t-shirt. I packed and loaded up my stuff and headed for the Arctic Caribou Inn for the tour at 10:00.
While waiting I met an older couple with a Volkswagen van. Their fuel pump died and they had to be towed 145 miles into Deadhorse. They got to see lots of wildlife, caribou, dall sheep, and musk ox. However, because they were on a pull rope for the tow, all of their lights got smashed out by rocks. I also saw Jason there. He was trying to convince Scott to go on the tour.
The tour started late, but was well worth
it. We drove by some drilling pads, workshops, housing, etc... It was all
very cool. As we wound our way through the oil field we got ever closer to
After the tour I had lunch at the hotel. I had two sloppy joe's, rice, mac and cheese, and some milk. The food up here is excellent.
When the workers come up, the oil company
pays for everything from
After lunch I headed to the Tesoro station for some gas. Let me just say this is not your typical gas station. I spoke with Jason while Scott went in search of some friends. Afterwards they headed for the general store to shop. I did my shopping last night, so a few quick pics of the Deadhorse sign and I was gone.
I did have to get through the same 50 miles as before. And again there was only one really bad spot where I almost lost it. Only this time I really almost lost it. The ďalmost lost itĒ on the way up was like a party at Chuck E. Cheeseís compared to this one. Not only were the handlebars doing the complete wacky, but the rear of the bike was fishtailing around as well. How did I get into this mess? Well, I was riding at about 55 on the nice fresh hardpack. It was excellent. I saw up ahead that they had been working on the road. My lane (southbound) looked great, but the northbound side still needed work. When I got to the actual road work where my side was great and northbound was not, I found that my side was horrible. The road crews had actually just finished spreading out the dirt and gravel mixture for the hardpack, but had not yet compacted it. So it looked like fresh hardpack, but was actually loose gravel and dirt about 2 to 3 inches deep. I donít know how I saved the bike. I actually gave up and thought to myself, well, itís been a good ride, but this is where we get off. I got the bike to stop and took a few to get myself back together again. Then I got onto the northbound (oncoming) side of the road. While it needed work, at least it was nice and hard.
The weather was beautiful, but a little
cold for me. In addition to my shirts I had on my heated vest, jacket liner,
and my jacket. I also had my heated grips and seat turned on. After a while
it warmed up and I could turn all the heated stuff off. Even Jason and
Scott, fresh from
Right near Atigun pass it started to rain. It was just a sprinkle really, but it was enough to wet down the road. I took it real slow going up and down the mountain. I didnít see any other cars on the pass, so I used up as much of the road as I could. After Atigun pass I stopped at an overlook, then at the Kyukuck river.
When I got to Coldfoot I went to the
visitorís center for a shirt. I got a shirt, a pin, and my
I kicked off to bed around midnight. The sun had gone down behind a hill, but it looked like it was around 5:00.
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